Cows

I live in Texas.  Where the cows probably outnumber the people.  Which is staggering if you consider the booming population of cities such as Houston, Dallas, San Antonio and now Austin.

I live in Round Rock.  It is not in the sticks.  It is about 20 minutes north of Austin.  Population of 100,000 give or take the masses that move here everyday.  It is the headquarters of Dell.  The people that make the computers.  The growth here has been phenomenal.  Probably 15 years ago, the exact spot I’m currently sitting in was a ranch.  Which leads me to the point of this story.

For the past three weeks or so, there has been a group of rogue cows (longhorns, actually) who have been jumping the barbed wire fence across the street and roaming the neighborhood.

Now, I grew up in Pennsylvania.  Cows aren’t a novel idea.  But You had to drive 30 minutes outside a populated area to find one.

This area I live in is so populated that there is five elementary schools within a five mile radius.  All filled to capacity.

So this escaped longhorn thing really provided some entertainment.

Here are the pics:

This is the ringleader, Beau.  He is always forefront in any escape.

This is the ringleader, Beau. He is always forefront in any escape.

I guess the grass IS greener on the other side...

I guess the grass IS greener on the other side…

Sunshine and my Dad set up in the bed of his truck to watch the show

Sunshine and my Dad set up in the bed of his truck to watch the show

And here they come prancing down the street

And here they come prancing down the street

So this has been my distraction for the past couple of weeks.  Hope you enjoyed my cow tales…

 

 

 

Awards!!

leibster

I haven’t been keeping up with the awards lately.  A few very nice people nominated me last fall, but I never got around to fulfilling the criteria due to my issues.  But today a gentleman at one of my favorite blogs sent me the Liebster award, and I happened to be sitting in front of the computer when he posted it.

This blog was one of the first I came across when I was possibly? diagnosed with sarcoidosis.  Just the title, Life With Sarcoidosis, pretty much explains it all.  His posts are informative and funny.  So thank you, Basil.

The following blogs that I nominate are:

Lethargic Smiles– a young woman living with a rare disease

The Power of Silence– a blog about healing from childhood sexual abuse

Decimawho – a blog about living with Lyme disease

Healing From Complex Trauma and PTSD – the name basically explains it

And to answer the questions:

1. How long have you been blogging?

18 months

2. Who do you write for? Yourself or an audience or both?

I basically write for myself.  Handwriting is so much more difficult with the fibro.  Typing is much faster.  But as a nurse I feel it is my duty to share my experiences and health knowledge.  

3. How has blogging influenced your life?

It helps me see perspective.  I can go to posts a year ago and see how much better I am doing.  I have “met” so many people from all over who are struggling with similar issues who offer support and it is amazing.  With my family, although it causes some problems, I truly think that they never gave my particular point of view much thought before seeing it written in black and white.  So it is definitely a beneficial thing.

4. Do you believe purpose is given or made?

Given.  I’ve been drawn to nursing for my entire life.  And I have to believe that I’ve been “gifted” with this chronic illness in order to make me a more compassionate nurse.

5. Mac or PC?
PC.  

6. If you could travel anywhere, where would it be?
Europe.  Particularly Italy, France.

7. What is your favorite film?
I really can’t narrow it down.  I love comedies, I love the Daniel Craig James Bond movies, superhero movies.  Lately I’ve been watching “The Avengers” repeatedly because it’s on Amazon Prime

8. What is truth?
What you know in your heart is right.

9. A perfect world to you is…?
No illness?  I don’t know.  A place where everyone is responsible for themselves and has the ability to empathize with others.

10. What advice would you give to others bloggers?
Who cares what others think.  Write your world.  Your perspective.  It’s your blog.

 

Suit of armor

therapy

 

 

Certain people in this household do not like the way they are portrayed in this blog.

Oh well.

This is my outlet.  I can’t afford therapy right now.  I’m sick, I’m in the house most of the time.  These are my personal memories so I can look back on a tough time in my life and realize how strong I am for surviving.

Just because I am in someone’s debt it does not mean that they have the right to abuse me and my family.

If you don’t like my perspective on your behavior, change it.  Period.

And if my musings and recollections offend you, try apologizing.  Try looking at your own behavior.  Hell, try professional help.

I will not take down this blog.  I will not be cowed into accepting the abuse because I have no option.  Despite my health, despite our issues, both me and my husband are doing all that we can to be independent.

And when that independence comes, some changes to relationship structures will come as well.  I will not have to tolerate the emotional and psychological abuse.

Think what you will, this is my personal space.  Writing in a journal or a diary doesn’t have the same affect.  I can’t get the support from 100+ readers when I write in my journal.  And actual writing makes my hands hurt.

This stance may make me homeless.  I have friends, I have other family.  Those constant threats do not bother me.

What bothers me is the games played for the affection of my daughter.  She is confused.  She is conflicted.  I see it in her clingy behavior, her demand to be with me at all times.  She asks me everyday to move out.  It’s heartbreaking.

So I will continue to add to my suit of armor.  I am one strong woman.

Day 31

Your favorite:  Hobbies and way to spend down-time

Duh.  READING!!  I love disappearing into a world created by some amazing authors.  I also read for knowledge, read for humor, read to Sunshine.

I also am a huge fan of The Walking Dead, sports, funny movies.

I also spend a ton of time playing Barbies with Sunshine (ugh) I try to sway her to do the Legos more often though.

And I spent an inordinate amount of time online, reading, catching up and blogging.

Day 30

What’s something not many know?

It’s strange that this question comes at the end of a month long challenge to talk about yourself.

I guess one thing that not all people know, even though I do blog about it separately, is my history of sexual abuse.

I was 15 (in 1997)when I was initially assaulted by someone I thought was a friend.  That led to years of abusive relationships, ending when I left my ex in 2009.

I still have problems with it, but not as bad as I used to.  If you are interested in reading the other blog, let me know and I may post a link.

I just don’t know how this whole “blogger internet” thing works, and I don’t want to land in court because of my writing.

Day 29

Tell me:  are you a lefty or a righty?

Righty all the way baby!!  I’m like 90% of the population.  I can do pretty much nothing with my left hand.

Day 27

Something you miss

When she visited me in Texas, 2010

When she visited me in Texas, 2010

 

I miss my best friend.  I’ll call her Pooh.  We met in 1990 on a playground at the first day of my new school.  That was third grade.  We’ve been friends ever since.

We have been through some shit together.  We were both teased mercilessly in grade school.  I think that is what cemented our bond.  As we got older, we got in trouble together.  Summer of 1996.  That’s all I will say, and she will know EXACTLY what I mean.

My first wedding...to Sunshine's Dad, 2004

My first wedding…to Sunshine’s Dad, 2004

She was the maid of honor at my wedding to Sunshine’s dad.  She was there the day I gave birth to Sunshine.  She babysat exactly one time, and I’m pretty sure that Ms. Colic 2006 kept Pooh and her eventual husband kid free for a few years.

When I decided to leave in 2009, Pooh was in the middle of planning her wedding.  I was to be the matron of honor.  Instead of turning into bridezilla and having a fit that her matron of honor was moving 1500 miles away, she told me that I needed to do what was right for myself and my daughter.  She was also instrumental in helping me make the ultimate decision to leave and to remain in Texas.  She had some info about my ex that was proof of infidelity.  She didn’t tell me when she first found out about it because I had just had Sunshine and I was no shape emotionally or physically to deal with that kind of information.

I remember going over to her house, absolutely livid about what was going on in my life.  She calmly sat me down, explained what she knew, when she knew and told me that she would love me no matter where I was.  She probably saved my life.  If I would have gone home to my ex, confronted him about what I knew, I may not be here right now.

I returned to Pittsburgh for her wedding.  With the man that is now my husband.  And it was magical.

Her wedding, 2009

Her wedding, 2009

Since that time, she has had two babies.  I got married (again), and she made the trip down here to be at my wedding.  She was the only person from out of town to do so.  No one in my family (including my brother) or my husband’s family made it.  Her being there with me was so special.

We have remained close despite the fact that we live so far from each other.  We talk about once a month, but we text, FB, all of those things.  And every time we’re together its like nothing has ever changed.  She knows me so well, she knows my family, my husband.  Its the kind of friendship that she has no problem telling me when I’m wrong, when I need to chill out, when I need to look at things a different way.

With our baby girls, 2013

With our baby girls, 2013

When I was up in Pittsburgh this past summer, I got to see a lot of her, and meet her kids.  I swear, their cuteness rivals Sunshine’s.  We cried when we had to leave each other.

So I miss my Pooh.  I would love for her to move down here one day.  Or have the funds to visit more often.

We were supposed to take a cruise for the 20th anniversary of our friendship in 2010.  But she was preggers at the time.

So maybe it will be for our 25th.  Next year.  Wow.  I’m old.

Day 26

Share:  A difficult time in your life

I read this title and started laughing to myself.  This entire blog was created because of a difficult time in my life.  It’s getting better, slowly, but this is probably the most stressful it has been.

I’ll update instead:

I survived my trip to the east coast.  Yes, it was cold, but apparently we got out just in time to avoid the polar vortex (of doom). I got to see my bonus son and spent some time with him.  That was awesome.  His mom behaved, mostly.  I spent some lovely time with my husband’s family.  They are so warm and welcoming.  A bit different from my current situation with MY family.

But the traveling and the weather got to me. And I needed two days to recover when I got back to Texas.

Things with my mom were worse when we got back, however.  I won’t go into details.  Apparently I’m a horrible mother.

Health wise, my eyes have inflammation in them, but not to the level he wants to treat right now.  My cataract isn’t getting worse.  So good news.

But the reflux and bleeding in my stomach is pretty bad.  I am scheduled for a scope (both ends) next week.  Fun times.

My pain from fibro has increased.  I think its the stress.  My joints in my elbows, hands, hips and ankles are killing me. I am supposed to see the rheumatologist sometime this spring, if I can wait that long.  I’m going to have her run my ANA again.

And the job search has begun in earnest.  I’ve had two interviews so far.  I’m hoping to hear back from them soon.  It is difficult trying to find a job in my industry that can go along with my illness.  I’m honest about what I went through.  I don’t want there to be any surprises if I take a job and my eyes get worse.  I’m mainly looking for part-time, something that isn’t intense or requires a lot of travel or being on my feet.  Good luck finding that nursing position.  If we get a new car, which might be happening fairly soon, I can return to hospice part time.  Fingers crossed.

Sunshine is amazing.  She just got an awesome report card.  She’s selling Girl Scout cookies (anyone want some?) and she is such a good little businesswoman.  She was taking orders from her classmates.  I had to explain to her that their parents probably need to order the cookies, since the kids aren’t carrying cash around with them.

My husband is also amazing.  He’s working so much, but this is a team effort.  I’m essentially his secretary, I get things done while he’s in his work cycle.  Because he works 12 hour night shifts, I don’t see him that much for four days out of the week.  But its worth it.  He’s already gotten promoted twice.

And my mom is working a lot more.  Which means we are getting along.

Today, things are looking up.  I hope by the end of the weekend I’ll have even more good news.

Thank you for reading!!

Day 25

Your favorite:  recipe and comfort food

This one is tough.  I absolutely love Italian food.  I can’t handle the tomatoes too much with the acid reflux, but I love alfredo sauce, lasagna, garlic bread, seafood pasta, ravioli.  Its great that I eventually married an Italian.  When we were visiting his family at the end of December, his aunt made amazing food for us.

So here is a recipe:

To Die For Fettuccine Alfredo

  • 24 ounces dry fettuccini pasta

  • 1 cup butter
  • 3/4 pint heavy cream
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 dash garlic salt
  • 3/4 cup grated Romano cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Directions

  1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add fettuccini and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente; drain.
  2. In a large saucepan, melt butter into cream over low heat. Add salt, pepper and garlic salt. Stir in cheese over medium heat until melted; this will thicken the sauce.
  3. Add pasta to sauce. Use enough of the pasta so that all of the sauce is used and the pasta is thoroughly coated. Serve immediately.

 

Day 24

Three things:  2 true & 1 false:

1)  I’m very athletic.

2) I’m a bit of a sci-fi nerd.  Not 100%, but I love Star Wars and zombies and reading about dystopian near futures.  And the apocalypse.  And alternate history.

3) If I wasn’t a nurse, I would be a history teacher.  Being that both of my parents are nurses, it was kind of predetermined.  But I have always loved history and loved learning about it.  In an alternate universe, I would be a history teacher or professor.  Specializing in WWII or women’s history.